The origins of the famous Doomsday Machine are revealed in the latest installment of IDW’s Star Trek New Visions: “Cry Vengeance.” Is the latest “lost-episode” of TOS a worthy sequel to a classic episode? Find out below – plus, check out a 6-page preview.
Star Trek: New Visions #3: “Cry Vengeance”
(available Wednesday, October 8)
Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, edited by Chris Ryall.
Cover by John Byrne
The Enterprise stands guard over the lifeless hulk of the just-disabled Doomsday Machine while a Federation science vessel, the USS Charles Darwin, arrives to explore the ship’s mysteries. Shortly after the Enterprise leaves the area, the Darwin sends a distress signal – it’s under attack. The Enterprise races back to help, but it’s too late, the Darwin was destroyed with all hands.
With the Doomsday Machine still out of commission, Kirk has another theory – a hidden “fighter escort” accompanied the machine through the eons to ensure it completed its mission of destruction, and awoke to destroy the Darwin. Sure enough, the Enterprise soon discovers a small craft hidden from view, wielding massive destructive force, and with a pilot who can’t communicate anything other than his need for vengeance.
After a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the alien, Kirk and crew manage to infiltrate the enemy ship in environmental suits. At last, the alien reveals his tragic history with the Doomsday Machine, and the secret of his vengeance…
I’m sensing a theme, here…
With “Cry Vengeance” writer John Byrne delivers a truly satisfying TOS-era tale, and perhaps his best New Visions entry yet. The Doomsday Machine is a more than worthy episode for a sequel, and Byrne imbues this one with humor, danger, and just the right amount of pathos.
This is a dialogue heavy issue, but it flows nicely thanks to Byrne’s ever spot-on capture of character voices – credit him with having his Spock-humor beats down cold – and the swift pace of the story itself. Kirk matching wits with the enemy ship after the Darwin is destroyed has a decidedly Balance of Terror-esque quality to it, and all the cat-and-mouse play builds some great anticipation for the reveal of the mysterious pilot of the “fighter escort” and its association with the Doomsday Machine.
Playing cat-and-mouse with the enemy
Byrne’s manipulation of the classic characters for the photomontage visuals is great, and doubtlessly painstaking. Similar to previous installments, though, incorporating newer visual elements into the legacy TOS material is still hit or miss. The USS Charles Darwin looks downright cartoony when set against a photo capture of the big E, and smeary space explosions don’t match quality of the fiery panels from the climax of the last book, Time’s Echo.
More successful is the alien at the heart of the fighter escort, a massive and bizarre creation which, if it doesn’t quite have the authentic TOS feel to it, is at least a fun change of pace from typical forehead alien fare. There are some nice visual nods to more obscure elements of the original series, too, like Chekov’s goofy wig from early season two, and Kirk’s classic wrap-around tunic.
A glimpse of the enemy
Once again, New Visions is the book to buy for the true TOS lover, but a tight story and solid visuals should give “Cry Vengeance” lots of appeal to any Trekkies of any ilk.
Bonus Story: “Robot”
Photomontage and Story by John Byrne, Edited by Chris Ryall
After last issue’s “Sweet Sorrow,” John Byrne offers another original short story focusing on an ancillary TOS character. “Robot” sees Transporter Chief Kyle take center stage in a story that reunites him with an old flame, and her experimental robot companion the ALX-1 or “Alex.” When a rash of violent acts breaks out on the Enterprise, who is more dangerous, an intelligent and deeply loyal robot, or a woman scorned? And who, in the end, is more human?
“Alex” makes his debut
With a nod to Asimov, a love story, and big questions about what makes the measure of a man, “Robot” crams a lot into its slim 14 pages, and makes for another standout, short story treat from New Visions.
6 Page Preview:
There’s still lots of good stuff to come in October – stay tuned for reviews of City on the Edge of Forever #5, and Q Gambit #4.
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Fritz Kessler is a writer and editor for media and technology site FliptheMedia.com. He’d be pretty stoked if Shatner is in the next movie. Quiz him on his absurd knowledge of Star Trek guest stars anytime by finding @hellofritzcom on Twitter or visiting fritzkessler.com.